Settling In

Thursday

Learned today in my grammar class that “ja, ja, ja” equals “ha, ha, ha.” Pretty funny, huh? You call a backpack a “mochilla” and a wallet a “billetera.” Then we worked on verb conjugations. I will not bore anyone with those. 200px-incakolabottleglassAnother interesting fact: As if regular Cola isn’t sweet enough, here they lust after the soft drink INKA Cola. Created in Peru in 1935 by British immigrant José Robinson Lindley,it’s made with lemon verbena (locally called hierba luisa). It tastes overly sweet and fruity, somewhat like creme soda but thicker – and it is yellow. Owned, manufactured and drunk primarily in Peru, it is an acquired taste which has impeded its export.

At breakfast Ana served fresh squeezed orange juice (muy deliciosa), bread, and a very salty cheese from Cusco. Though saltier than feta, we welcomed the protein. Diego ate with us and talked about his favorite things in America. Chicago for culture, San Antonio for beauty (of course he’s used to a desert environment. Favorite restaurant and food: I-hop. No, I am not kidding. He spoke dreamily about their waffles and whipped cream. No accounting for taste.

For anyone interested in employment apply here to work in security. Diverse levels, diverse hours, and little danger of being shot at. First, the variety:
Policia: city wide cops in cars, on motorcycles and on foot-all wearing combat looking dark green uniforms. They carry a gun but according to everyone I speak with, they almost never use it. You cannot walk a block without seeing some kind of security and/or seeing flashing blue lights. Mostly for traffic stops. Though the crazy drivers put a heavy foot to the metal, I haven’t seen an accident. Perhaps, their reaction time tops that of Americans.
img_3613Seranazgo: each barrio hires it’s own guards, if they can afford it. Numbers depend on taxes – no surprise there. They do not carry guns but have direct access to police for quick action. They drive in blue and green cars (Seahawks fans?), ride motorcycles and stand around everywhere.
Securidad: These are privately hired guards who wear brown uniforms and guard banks, hotels, houses, stores. I’m not clear if they carry guns. They stand around, watching and at times talking on cell phones.

Outside my homestay Leo sells vegetables in the morning. I explained I had no place to

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Leo

cook but I would like his photos.Very sweet man. He likes that I come by and say Buenas Diaz, Leo!

The language books in school reflect nothing I’ve used before. Written by school staff, they have ridiculous stories as if written for a novella (soap opera). It’s clever because you laugh and remember. Who could not when one story in the “rumor” section discusses a fullsizeoutput_4837woman who is pregnant with her sixth-all from different fathers? Another day we read personal ads in which people wrote about being stubborn.Or at times I am crabby and hold a grudge – although he then says he can change.

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Yoga Studio

After school and homework, I went to Puro Yoga, a small studio holding only 15. As with most places metal gates secure the interior. I rented a towel and mat and tried to follow in Spanish. I got right, left, hands, feet, up and down. The rest I watched and copied. Seemed hotter than my Seattle studios but probably because a tiny room. Dripping wet on the walk home. But great class.

As it was Diego’s birthday the family attended a party. My dinner of cold and dry arroz con pollo needed moisture. I added cheese and zapped it in the microwave. Left something to desire.

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